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Nov 8, 2011

A Study Of Suffering Women: Shashi Despande

Suffering means the act of distress, pain, endered. Through the topic, I want to present the women belonging to Indian middle class, who are brought up in a traditional, environment and one struggling to liberate themselves and seek their self-Idnetity and independence in the novels of Shasi Deshpande. Shashi Deshpande gives minute details of development of girl-child in her novels. She has displayed a series of girl-children, where each girl faces a different problem within the family. Violence against women, whether physical, mental or emotional, is an issue that crosses all borders and all classes of women. Feminism and its crusade against a male dominated society is of special importance in the Indian context.

The Indian women has for years been a silent suffers. In novel ‘The Dark Holds to Terros’ the whole situation in which Sarita has placed herself is rather unwarranted. The lack of perfect understanding emotions between husband and wife causes of domestic life, there should be a blend of acceptance and rejection, flexibility and rigidity and above all revolt if the occasion demands and compromise for peaceful life. The novel ‘Roots and Shadows’ projects the educated women who are unable to enfranchise the traditional background in which they are reared. The cruse of all the prevailing problems of women are their subjugation which is always present in the form of silent servitude. In ‘That Lond Silence’, retrieves facts from the depth of the past to reconstruct the missing links in the chain of women’s suffering, self-discruery by all means is a mature act, and also a cathartic one. In ‘The Binding Vine’ Mira’s poems and diaries engage her attention.

Through her dearies Urmila establishes a communion with her and tries to reconstruct the tragic tale of a sprightly girl. The novel ‘A Matter of Time’ moves beyond feminist concerns in that it raises the existentialist question it self. The important truth revelaed is that self pety is not answer. It is only through a process of self examination and self-searching, through courage and resilence that one can change one’s situation from despair to hope. Shashi Deshpande among the writers of the present day, the novels highlights the image of the middle class women sandwiched between tradition and modernity. The topic has been choosen by me, not only as a student of literature but as a responsible citizen of India who feels it is him duty to do something for country. Through the research. I want to present the condition of suffering women middle class of India.

Shashi Deshpande is an award winning Indian Novelist. She is the second daughter of famous Kannada dramatist and writer shriranga. She was born in 1938 Karnatak and educated in Bombay and Banglore. She published her first collection, of short stories in 1978, and her first novel. The Dark Holds No Terrors in 1980. She is a winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award, for the novel ‘That Long Silence’ Her works also include children’s books. Shashi Deshpande’s novels present a social world of mamy complex relationship. In her novels many men and women living together, journing across life in their difference age groups, classes and gendered roles. The old tradition bound world consists with the modern, creating unferseen gaps and disruptions within the family fold. Women’s understanding becomes questionable as the old patterns of behaviour no longer seem to be acceptable. These struggle become in tense of quests for self-definition, because it would not be possible to relate to others with any degree of conviction unless one is guided by a clarity about one’s own image and role.

Shashi Deshpande has presented in her novels modern India women’s search for these definition about the self and society and the relationship that are central to women. Her Works Novel The Dark Hold No Terrors (1980), If I die Today (1982), Roots and Shadows (1983), Came up and Be Dead (1985), That Long Silence (1988), The Binding Vine (1994) A Matter of Time (1996).

Shashi Deshpande’s Novels deal with the women belonging to Indian middle class. She deals with the inner world of the Indian women in her novels. She portrays her heroins in a realistic manner. As ‘The Dark Holds No Terrors’ the novel reveals the life of Sarita, who is always neglected and ignored in favour of her brother, she is not given any importance. In ‘Root and Shadows’ explores the innerself of Indu, who symbolizes the new women, who are educated and married to Jayant but her feminine instinct for articulation is suppressed and Mini inculcates in her all the traditional feminine qualities since her childhood. Akka got married to a man who has much older than her. She has to tolerate the scathing and bestial sexual advances of her husband. In the novel ‘That Long Silence’ Shashi Deshpande reveals that Consciousness of Jaya through an exposition of her mind in the process of thinking, feeling and reacting to the stimile of the moment and situation. Jaya is not totally a silent and mute sufferer. In ‘The Binding Vine’ Mira’s poems and diaries engage her attention.

Urmila esbalishis a communion with her and tries to reconstruct the tragic tale of a sprightly girls, who suffered and write poems in the solitude of an unhappy marriage. In the novel ‘A Mater of Time’ is an exploration of a woman’s inner life. Kalyani’s fears are based on patriarchal oppression that condemns women to the margins of silence. She is made to realise that while losing her son, a male hair. Sumi like her mother, is a suffering oppressed and wronged woman. Yet she does not question the man; her oppressor.

Shashi Deshpande is one of the famous contemporary Indian novelists in English. Basically she writes about the situation of women and their failures in the fast chaning socio-economic milieu of India. She writes about the conflict between tradition and modernity in relation to women in middle class society. In the novel ‘The Dark Holds No Terrors’ all the characterstics are intextricably blended in Saru who represents a reaction of society. Saru is brought up in a traditional atmosphere but the education she receiver makes her a changed person with a rebelleous attitude towards tradition. In ‘Rosts and Shadow’ through the character fo Indu, who is educated and who lives in close association with society, brushing aside all narrow social conventions. Akka the strict and disapproving matriarch of the family. In the novel ‘That Lond Silence’ through the character of Jaya, who adjusts and accomnodates unlike the modern women who themselves “forced into the background by the claims of culture” and hence they adopt “an inimical attitude towards it”. She is not the structurally patterned woman of the traditional Indian society. In the novel ‘The Binding Vine’ Normally Urmila’s meeting with Shakeitai would not have happened as shakeitai belongs to a different strata of society. In ‘A Matter of Time’ is a focus of social control, and the site of violence, exclusion and abouse. Aru asks Gopal “why did you get married at all, why did you have children. The whole novel us devoted to silent, brooding women, unhappy, yet lively clinging to their past, yet living in the present society.

Shashi Deshpande’s novel deals with the theme of the quest for a female identity. The complexities of man-woman relationship specially in the context of marriage, the trauma of a disturbed adolescence. The Indian woman has for years been a silent suffer. While she has played different roles-as a wife, mother, sister and daughter, she has never been able to claim her own individuallity. In the novel ‘The Dark Holds No Terrors’ Manohar’s male ego tries to dominate Sarita which ultimate results in disintegration, that Sarita is an individual not a dependent but a being capable of with standing trials in life alone. Her identity is no longer been in terms of the identify of her male counterpart. In ‘Roots and Shadwos’, Indu accepts that she throttled her desires not because of Jayant’s pressure but because it was her own decision with which she had given her identity. Akk too has to endure and submit to insults, injuries and humiliations with a stoic patience and never camplain. In ‘That Long Silence’, Jaya is being renamed as suhasine after her marriage is not a care of the loss of identity. In ‘The Binding Vine’, Urmila understands that even as a child, Mira has hated the way her mother has been surrendering herself to her husband and ever she has not herself identity. In ‘A Matter of Time’ It is here that in a flash Kalyani realizes that Gopal and she must now move an alone and she reconciles herself to their separation. Kalyani who emerges as the most powerful character in the novel. Here is a pitiable story, but one of deep endurance and strength.

Shashi Deshpande to project the fact tales about women, who speaking for herself or for the whole of womankind is quite different from a man telling a woman’s tale. This paper of minitries to bring out this idea of woman explicating herself and emerging out of the cocoon of self pity to spread her wings of self-confidence, as present in some silent writings of Shashi Deshpande. In the novel ‘The Dark Hold No Terrors’, Sarita achieved position and the ascribed position of her husband. The financial ascendance of Sarita, renders manother less significant and important. But his action at nights terrifies and humiliates saru. In ‘Root and Shadow’, Akka’s desire to educate her was not because of giving her on independent stand but because she feels that educated girls get a good match and Indu experiences disillusionment in sex and suffers a silent sexual humiliation. In ‘That Long Silence’ Jaya cames to recognise herself as a failed writer because when she had continued writing, her stories had been rejected for lack of genuine feelings which she had laid aside. After all she cames to accept herself as a failed writer and so she depends of her husband. We see in the novel ‘The Binding Vine Urmila is one who is ahead of her predeccessors by her endeavours to help other women. Often referred to is Uomi. She is an upper middle class carrier woman. Anu Consequently has became mighty sensitive to the suffering and despair of others. In the ‘A Matter of Time’ is a composite study in human relationship. The most striking example of silence is Kalyani who spents nearly forty years in total silence with her husband, Shripati but all women’s depended of the themselves.

Shashi Deshpande an eminent novelist has emerged as a writer possessing deep insight into the female psyche. Focussing on the marital relation she seek to expose the tradition by which a woman is trained to play her subservient role in the family. Her novels reveals the man-made patriarchal traditions and uneasiness of the modern Indian woman in being a part of them. Shashi Deshpande uses this point of view of present social reality as at is experienced by women. To present the world of mothers, daughters and wives is also to present indirectly the fathers, sons and husbands the relation between men and womaan, and between women themselves. Her young heroines rebel against the traditional way of life and patriatrchal values. The words which we always associate with what we consider to be the concept of an ideal woman are, self-denial, sacrifice, patience, devotion and silent suffering. As in the ‘The Dark Hold No Terror’, the life of Sarita who is always neglected and ignored. ‘Roots and Shadow’ explores the innerself of Indu, Mini, and Akka and Shashi Deshpande Shows the ‘That Long Silence’, Jaya is not a silent and make sufferer. In ‘The Binding Vine’ Mira has hated the way her mother has been surrendering herself to her husband and ever she has not herself identity. In the ‘A Matter of Time’ is an exploration of Kalyani, Sumi and her daughters Aru. Shadhi Deshpande’s fiction is an example of the ways in which a girl child’s particular position, social reality and identity and psychological growth determine her personality.

Primary Source
  • Works of Shashi Deshpande Novels Deshpande, Shashi, The Dark Holds NO Terrors: A Novel, New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1990.
  • If I die Today. New Delhi: Vikas Publishing Housing, 1982. New Delhi Tarang Paperbacks, 1982.
  • Come up and Be Dead. New Delhi, Viaks Publishing House, 1983.
  • Roots and Shadows: A Novel Bombay: Sangam Books, 1983. New Delhi: Orient Longman, 1983.
  • That Long Silence, London: Virago, 1988. New Delhi: Disha Books, 1992. 2nd ed. New Delhi Penguin Books, 1980.
  • Binding Vines. London: Virago, 1992, 1993.
  •  A Matter of Time. Delhi Renguin Books 1996.

Secondary Socrces:
Critical Wroks
  • Barche, G.D. “Indu: Another Sisyphus in Roots an Shadows” Dhawan Indian Woman Novelists set I. Vol. 5. 111-18. Bhavani, J.
  • “Is Shashi Deshpande a Feminist” Literary Journal (Stella Maris College, Madras 1992-93: 24-29.
  • King, Adeli, “Shashi Deshpnade: Portraits of an Indian Woman” Kirpal The New Indian Novel in English 159-68.
  • Naryan. Shyamala A. Shashi Deshpande: “Contemporary Novelists 5th ed. 1991. 241-42.
  • Pathak, R.S. (ed.) The Fiction of Shashi D. New Delhi Creative Books, 1997.
  • Sathupati, Prasanasree “Conflict and identity in Shashi Deshpande Novels Dhawan. Indian Woman ovelist Set III. Vol 4. 12-19.
  • Suneel Seema. Man-Woman Relationship in Indian Fiction. New Delhi: Prestige Books. 1995.

1 comment:

  1. hi am vinoth .. am doing m.a english.. my project topic is related to this so need this material how to save it .. i cant copy this .. plzz help me


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